The Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference has lauded President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for withdrawing the December 17 Referendum after many calls for the exercise to be postponed, ABC News has gathered.
The Bishops Conference is of the view that the withdrawal of the referendum by the President is an indication that Ghana has a listening President who values the views and ideas of the citizenry.
Speaking on Accra-based Neat FM Monday Morning, the Vice-President of the Bishops Conference, Most Reverend Gabriel Charles Palmer-Buckle welcomed the withdrawal, saying that the move will serve the interest and welfare of the state which is very paramount in all endeavors.
To him, the withdrawal will provide the opportunity for broader consultations among the various stakeholders for consensus to be built. He added that the level of education and understanding among the electorates, which is very critical to the referendum was generally low.
In his view, this will serve as an opportunity for the relevant state agencies to educate the public to enable them make an informed choice should the referendum be organized in the future.
“So if we have a President who listens to the views of the citizens and acts according to their will, then it’s very pleasing and good news,” Most Reverend Gabriel Charles Palmer-Buckle expressed.
He added that “it’s not just only good news but also the welfare of the country which is very paramount. Before we can undertake such an exercise, there should be extensive education for us to understand. When we get to understand the issues better we can then make a very informed choice based on knowledge about the subject matter. When you critically examine the issue, you can see a lot of people do not understand the issues. So what we are pleading is that those who are supposed to conduct the education should take the opportunity to explain the matters.”
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in a brief address to the nation on Sunday, December 1, 2019, cancelled the December 17 national referendum which was meant to decide on an amendment of Article 55 (3) of the Constitution to enable political parties to sponsor candidates during local level elections.
The President attributed the decision to the absence of “a durable national consensus” on the matter following consultations.